We still have to wait until next year for another installment of Hulu’s hit series The Handmaid’s Tale. However, fans do have an exciting bit of news to feast on in the meantime: According to Deadline, Bradley Whitford is set to resume his role as Commander Joseph Lawrence in season three.
Whitford, whose character was introduced in Season 2 as one of the original architects of Gilead, has reportedly secured a one-year deal to star as a series regular.
The Emmy-winning actor shook things up last season when Alexis Bledel’s Emily was assigned to be his eccentric character’s handmaid. While it was unclear at first what Commander Lawrence’s agenda was, it became abundantly clear when — spoiler alert! — Emily attacked Aunt Lydia (presumably killing her, although we can’t be sure yet).
In the moments that followed, Commander Lawrence carted Emily off to a secret rendezvous spot. She thought she was driving to certain death, but it tuned out that the commander had arranged for Emily, June and June’s newborn to escape.
Of course, that’s not quite how things played out. At the last minute, June sent her child with Emily. She stayed behind, probably to stay close to her older daughter and to help bring down Gilead for good.
So, what does Whitford’s return as a series regular mean for The Handmaid’s Tale?
Well, let’s start with the obvious hope: that Commander Lawrence will become a driving force in the rebellion, albeit behind the scenes. Since June’s fate is currently in the air and Emily will no longer be around, perhaps Commander Lawrence will request June as his new handmaid. Then the two could work together.
But this is Gilead, and when are things ever that easy? it seems unlikely the show would make it that easy for June to have such a strong ally within Gilead.
If nothing else, though, it stands to reason that Commander Lawrence will at least help June in the sense that he's trying to take down Gilead as a whole.
It would also be nice if Whitford’s continued presence on the show means we’ll get to see more about the making of Gilead. Sure, we’ve gotten glimpses here and there through flashbacks of Serena and Commander Waterford, but that’s pretty much the extent of our knowledge.
How instrumental was Commander Lawrence? And what made him turn against the very “republic” he helped to create? Hopefully these — and many more — questions will be answered in season three, now that we know Whitford is on board for another year.